05 Mar Thr3e wise men coming to downtown muncie via new courtyard hotel
MUNCIE — A planned downtown Muncie hotel and hospitality industry training facility will be the first of its kind in the nation.
But it was in many ways the names of the players involved in the $40 million project that generated the most excitement on Tuesday, more than a year after the hotel effort was first publicly acknowledged and more than a year before the facility will be open on the south edge of downtown.
Courtyard by Marriott will be the “brand” of the hotel to be built in downtown Muncie and Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company will be its restaurant, officials announced.
Mayor Dennis Tyler and Gov. Mike Pence joined Kim Dodson, associate executive director of The Arc of Indiana, the advocacy group for the disabled, in speaking to a crowd of local business people and downtown stakeholders Tuesday morning in the Horizon Convention Center.
The Arc will build a six-story, 150-room hotel and hospitality training facility at the end of High Street. The Star Press first reported in January 2013 that Tyler was working with The Arc on the hotel project.
On Tuesday, Pence and Tyler joined representatives from The Arc, General Hotels Corporation and Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company, the specialty beer and food spin-off of Scotty’s Brewhouse, the restaurant chain founded by Scott Wise in Muncie in 1996, in announcing the elements that will make up the hotel.
Dodson also told The Star Press that the Courtyard will feature a coffee shop that will serve Starbucks coffee with an eye toward landing a full-fledged Starbucks in the future.
“I could not be prouder that Muncie will be home to this project,” Tyler told The Star Press.
“There’s just no downside to this,” Tyler added when asked about construction jobs, permanent jobs and economic development “ripples.”
The mayor cited a study that showed the potential for a 42 percent increase in convention center business with a hotel nearby. Since the Roberts Hotel closed in 2006, there’s been no downtown hotel to hold people attending events at the convention Center. The Roberts is nearing completion in remodeling into apartments for senior citizens.